What is testicular cancer?
- Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35.
- Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer.
- Because treatment is so successful, the risk of dying from this cancer is very low: about 1 in 5,000.
- 8,590 new cases of testicular cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2012.
- 360 men will die from testicular cancer in 2012.
- A man's lifetime chance of having testicular cancer is about 1 in 270.
Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body begin to grow abnormally. These cancer cells can invade other tissue, and in most cases form a tumor. When cancer gets into the bloodstream or lymph vessels, they can travel to other parts of the body. There they begin to grow and form new tumors; this process is called metastasis.
Cancer that develops in one or both testicles is called testicular cancer. According to the American Cancer Society
, the testicles are made up of several types of cells, and each may develop into one or more types of cancer.
There are 3 types of testicular cancer tumors: Germ cell, stromal, and secondary testicular tumors.
- Germ cell tumors are the most commonly diagnosed; they begin in the cells that make sperm.
- Stromal tumors start in the cells that make hormones and the cells that support the cells that make sperm.
- Secondary testicular tumors are from cancer that has spread to the testicles from other parts of the body.
For more detailed information about these types of tumors, please visit the ACS’s website
Who gets testicular cancer?
While testicular cancer can affect men of any age, almost half of cases are diagnosed in men between the ages of 20 and 34.
Risk of testicular cancer
Men who may be at risk for testicular cancer include those with:
- Cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s)
- A family history of testicular cancer
- A previous testicular cancer diagnosis
- Are between 20 and 34 (half of cases diagnosed in men between this age)
- HIV infection
for more information.
What are the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer?
Only 1 in 4 men with testicular cancer have symptoms of the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, most men with testicular cancer find a lump on a testicle or find it’s swollen. Sometimes the lumps are painful, and often they are not. The most common signs and symptoms of testicular problems include:
All men between 15 and 35 should become familiar with the shape and feel of their testicles and perform regular self-tests to detect abnormalities. The ACS recommends having a testicular exam by your doctor as part of your routine check up. Men are encouraged to perform monthly testicular self-exams, ideally after a bath or shower, when the scrotum is relaxed. Click here
for more information on conducting monthly self-exams.
It’s important to see a doctor about any testicular symptoms that bother you. Don’t wait. If diagnosed with testicular cancer, here
is a comprehensive list from the ACS of questions you can ask your doctor.
Treatment of Testicular Cancer
If diagnosed with testicular cancer, the most important step is to talk at length with your doctor about your treatment choices.
In choosing a treatment plan, factors such as your overall health and the type and stage of the cancer should be considered. You may want to get a second or third doctor’s opinion.
The three main methods of testicular cancer treatment are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The American Cancer Society has more detailed information on treatment options by stage on their website
For Movember’s source log, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testicular Cancer Resources
Cancer Navigation Center
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute